City of Bakersfield gets grant to clean up discarded tire hazard

BAKERSFIELD - The city of Bakersfield received a $100,000 state grant funds to clean up and recycle illegally dumped waste tires.

The Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, or CalRecycle, issued the funds under its Local Government Waste Tire Cleanup Program.

“Illegally dumped waste tires are a threat to public health, but they’re also a valuable recyclable feedstock,” said CalRecycle Director Caroll Mortensen.

CalRecycle awards grants to cities, counties, other local agencies, and qualifying Native American tribes to collect, remove, transport, and recycle illegally dumped waste tires. Stockpiled waste tires provide breeding grounds for pests such as mosquitos and rats. If the tire piles catch fire, they can burn for many weeks or months, releasing toxins into the air and oils into the groundwater.

Recycled tires can be used for everything from paving material and garden mulch to sports surfaces and exercise mats.

“It’s in everyone’s best interest to collect these tires and make sure they’re put to beneficial use," said Mortensen.

The City Bakersfield removed more than 300 tires Wednesday at the 3700 block of Refinery Road. There were so many tires, the crew will have to come back tomorrow to get the rest.

Anyone who sees illegally dumped tires is encouraged to call city or county code enforcement officers.

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